FX strategy report

This week saw a few fund closures, many of them with a healthcare focus, including the announcement of Cowen Healthcare Investments’ closure of its third fund on USD493 million on Wednesday. James Williams explores how the US discretionary healthcare sector feels the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in his weekly feature.

The travel industry is one of the sectors that have been hit hardest by the crisis, and some holiday destinations in Europe are now trying to see if they can open for business again. Tourist hotspots like Lake Cuomo in the region of Lombardy in the north of Italy – the so-called “red zone” at the peak of the European corona crisis – are getting ready to welcome tourists, as well as Greece, who said it will open the tourism season from mid-June.

In order to help consumers and businesses finance their travel needs, Fly Now Pay Later has launched a financial structure that allows users to book a trip now and pay over a 12-month period. The startup received GBP35 million in a series A round led by Revenio Capital.

The deal was announced the same week the UK Government said it will start imposing a two week quarantine requirement for any passengers entering the country, in a move that is being introduced later than that of several other European countries and the US.

With travel restrictions and businesses facing widespread uncertainty, deal flow is expected to stay flat until we come out of lockdown, according to the UK & Ireland Private Capital Breakdown. The newly released report by data provider Ptchbook covers Covid-19’s impact on the private equity industry

One of its key findings is that only when we see substantial easing in lockdown measures will deal activity pick up again, as GPs do not plan on closing investments through an entirely virtual process. Most managers will close deals only once they have met management teams face to face and they’ve seen the business operating in full motion.

Before the global pandemic hit the financial world, there were numerous drivers in motion in the PE space. In our guest feature, “Crisis accelerates changes already underway in PE space”, Audrey Nangle, director of private equity & real assets at MUFG Investor Services, looks at how the necessity to take new paths and build new relationships in the private markets industry will accelerate and reshape the industry in new and indelible ways.

In Nangle’s words: “The PE landscape was already in flux when the novel coronavirus came onto the scene. Now, some funds are experiencing or anticipating major financial disruption, while others are finding unexpected gains and opportunities.”

Karin Wasteson
Editor, Private Equity Wire



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